We’re Sorry, Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

by Paul R. Pillar Personal fondness for a foreign country plays such a large role for many participants in the debate about U.S. foreign policy (including policy toward the Middle East) that I should begin this piece with a disclosure:… Continue Reading  

Counterproductive Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Yemen

A U.S. soldier and an Afghan tactical air controller. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

by Paul R. Pillar Fighting terrorism has been the most commonly invoked rationale for U.S. involvement in overseas military conflicts during the past two decades. But much of that involvement has sustained and strengthened, rather than weakened, international terrorism. Recent… Continue Reading  

Israel: A Middle Eastern State

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem (Mick Harper via Shutterstock)

by Paul R. Pillar Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in… Continue Reading  

The Ugly Destination of Trump’s Iran Policy

The MEK's Maryam Rajavi with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani

by Paul R. Pillar President Trump’s belligerent, all-caps tweet about Iran this past weekend is hardly a natural response to anything the Iranians have been saying or doing lately. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did make a speech on Sunday in… Continue Reading  

The Multiple Facets of the Russia Problem

Mike Trukhachev via Shutterstock

by Paul R. Pillar Two different issues—Russian interference in the U.S. election of 2016 and overall U.S. policy toward Russia—too often have been conflated. Donald Trump’s questioning of the interference and his submission to Russian President Vladimir Putin have tainted… Continue Reading